Earlier this week, I wrote a pretty decent amount about why the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Houston Rockets for the second time this season is an interesting basketball matchup, in a vacuum. Feel free to go read it, if you’d like.
What I’m here to do today is to ask a question. A very important question, as far as tonight’s game goes: Just who the hell is going to suit up for either of these teams tonight?
The Rockets have already made some deals, the most significant of which is shipping out Clint Capela for Robert Covington to fully embrace their small-ball identity. Given the timing of the deal, it’s probably unlikely Covington makes his debut tonight. The Rockets also (as of publishing time) have 13 players on their roster, giving them some room for lopsided deals or to pursue buyout guys. Regardless of if they make more moves or not, expect them to have a short rotation this evening.
Depending on what happens by the deadline at noon, they may not be the only ones. There have been persistent trade rumors about Kyle Kuzma — he says they don’t bother him — but he’s not the only Laker who has seen their name in the news.
Depending on if any of those rumored deals (or any others) get done, we could either be watching a revitalized Lakers team, heartened by the fact that the organization chose to keep them together, or a shorthanded one that just shipped out multiple guys at the deadline, waiting on their reinforcements to join them. We just don’t know which way it will go right now.
The Lakers tip off against the Rockets at Staples Center at 7:30 p.m. PST. The game will be shown exclusively on TNT. We’ll see who will actually be playing in it a little later today.
Notes and Updates
- LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo make their picks today, and no, I’m not just talking about them influencing their teams at the trade deadline. The two All-Star captains will make their selections to play on Team Giannis and Team LeBron this afternoon, with the process being televised afterwards on TNT prior to tonight’s games.
- The only name on the injury report for the Lakers is Anthony Davis, who is probable despite continuing right shoulder soreness. Frank Vogel said at shootaround that everyone participated.
- I asked LeBron James what kind of challenges the now even smaller Rockets present, and he gave a pretty detailed answer:
I asked LeBron about what kind of challenges the Rockets present now that they're going extra small. Here is what he had to say: pic.twitter.com/KjRCznvFFR— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 6, 2020
- Non-basketball, but I’m incredibly proud we got to publish this feature on Kobe Bryant, showing his girl dad side at Disneyland. I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t already.